Hatch: Ses­sions would put Jus­tice Depart­ment back on track.

Jeff Ses­sions is the right choice for at­tor­ney gen­eral

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Or­rin G. Hatch Or­rin Hatch, a Utah Repub­li­can, is pres­i­dent pro tem­pore of the U.S. Se­nate.

Amer­i­cans spoke re­sound­ingly last month that they want our coun­try to chart a new course. A newly-elected pres­i­dent’s first de­ci­sions are typ­i­cally his Cab­i­net choices, and Pres­i­dent-elect Trump is al­ready chart­ing that new course. Nom­i­nees such as Sen. Jeff Ses­sions to be at­tor­ney gen­eral show that

Mr. Trump is se­ri­ous about get­ting that job done.

Nearly two-thirds of Amer­i­cans say that the coun­try has been on the wrong track. That cer­tainly de­scribes the Depart­ment of Jus­tice. Just last year, I spoke out about how the depart­ment had been politi­cized, com­pro­mised, weak­ened, and even cor­rupted. Jeff Ses­sions is the right per­son to put the Jus­tice Depart­ment back on track.

No at­tor­ney gen­eral in Amer­i­can history has had Mr. Ses­sions’ com­bi­na­tion of hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in both crim­i­nal jus­tice pol­icy and its im­ple­men­ta­tion. He was a front-line pros­e­cu­tor for 18 years, 12 of them as United States At­tor­ney. At his con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing in Jan­uary, he will ap­pear be­fore the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee on which he has served for 20 years.

The Se­nate is re­ceiv­ing let­ters en­dors­ing Mr. Ses­sions’ nom­i­na­tion from those who know best what the job of at­tor­ney gen­eral re­quires. One let­ter from 10 for­mer at­tor­neys gen­eral and deputy at­tor­neys gen­eral over the past three decades says that he is “a per­son of hon­esty and in­tegrity” who is “su­perbly qual­i­fied by tem­per­a­ment, in­tel­lect, and ex­pe­ri­ence to serve as this na­tion’s chief law en­force­ment of­fi­cer.” An­other let­ter from a bi­par­ti­san group of for­mer DEA ad­min­is­tra­tors praises Mr. Ses­sions’ com­mit­ment to “the just and fair en­force­ment of the laws that Congress has writ­ten” and con­cludes that “he is a pro­tec­tor of civil rights and de­fender of crime vic­tims.”

I have served with Sen. Ses­sions since he joined the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee in Jan­uary 1997. We have worked to­gether on leg­is­la­tion to im­prove foren­sic sci­ence ser­vices for law en­force­ment, pro­mote com­mu­nity polic­ing, help child abuse vic­tims, and pre­vent gun crimes. He is a se­ri­ous leg­is­la­tor who knows that pros­e­cu­tors and law en­force­ment need com­mon­sense, work­able poli­cies from law­mak­ers to help keep com­mu­ni­ties safe and pro­tect the rights of all Amer­i­cans.

Only three at­tor­neys gen­eral since the turn of the 20th cen­tury have served in the Se­nate. A good work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Jus­tice Depart­ment and Congress, how­ever, is more im­por­tant than ever. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has fought against le­git­i­mate con­gres­sional over­sight and tried re­peat­edly, and in dif­fer­ent ways, to cir­cum­vent Congress to im­pose a po­lit­i­cal agenda through the Jus­tice Depart­ment and the courts.

Thomas Jef­fer­son wrote that gov­ern­ment’s most sacred duty is “to do equal and im­par­tial jus­tice to all its cit­i­zens.” Get­ting the Jus­tice Depart­ment back on track means re­turn­ing to the es­sen­tials, spelled out in the Depart­ment’s own mis­sion state­ment: “To en­force and law and de­fend the in­ter­ests of the United States ac­cord­ing to the law; to en­sure pub­lic safety against threats for­eign and do­mes­tic; to pro­vide fed­eral lead­er­ship in pre­vent­ing and con­trol­ling crime; to seek just pun­ish­ment for those guilty of un­law­ful be­hav­ior; and to en­sure fair and im­par­tial ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice for all Amer­i­cans.”

No one un­der­stands that mis­sion more thor­oughly, or be­lieves it more deeply, than Jeff Ses­sions. I am proud to sup­port Sen. Jeff Ses­sions to be the next at­tor­ney gen­eral of the United States. His ex­pe­ri­ence, prin­ci­ples, and com­mon sense are just what the Jus­tice Depart­ment needs to chart the right course.

Thomas Jef­fer­son wrote that gov­ern­ment’s most sacred duty is “to do equal and im­par­tial jus­tice to all its cit­i­zens.” Get­ting the Jus­tice Depart­ment back on track means re­turn­ing to the es­sen­tials.


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